CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s ruling military council pledged Monday to honor its promise to hand over power to the newly elected president by the end of this month, hours after Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi claimed victory in the first free presidential vote since the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak 16 months ago.

Maj-Gen. Mohammed al-Assar, a senior member of the ruling council, said the generals would transfer power in a “grand ceremony.” He did not give an exact date or mention Morsi by name.

He said the new president will have the authority to appoint and dismiss the government and that the military council has no intention of taking away any of the president’s authorities.

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